At its annual meeting last week, the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) finally voted to approve the diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) standard as a legally authorized method of sale for natural gas sold as motor fuel.
According to NGVAmerica, the national organization driving the use of natural gas as a clean, domestic, safe and abundant transportation fuel, the DGE standard enables natural gas to be compared with diesel, which is today’s dominant trucking fuel.
NGVAmerica states that the DGE standard compliments the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) standard previously adopted by NCWM that has been in place for compressed natural gas (CNG) since 1994 and that has aided consumers and retailers alike. Importantly, this standard fills a void for liquefied natural gas (LNG), which, although sold by most retailers in DGE units, previously lacked a uniformly recognized standard.
The NCWM’s action also means that the DGE unit will also be available for CNG retailers who want to use the unit for their retail sales for trucking fleets.
This final approval is the culmination of a more than a three-year process in which the industry worked with the NCWM to adopt a sensible and uniform approach for selling LNG. As previously reported, the regulator rejected the adoption of a national DGE standard for natural gas as a transportation fuel in July 2015.
NGVAmerica led a large coalition of national trade associations, fuel providers and retailers, natural gas utilities, trucking fleets, and retailers to make the case for adoption of the standard.
“NGVAmerica thanks the NCWM leadership for its thoughtful consideration of this issue and for working with the natural gas vehicle industry to get this done,” says NGVAmerica President Matthew Godlewski. “This successful vote was the culmination of years of hard work by NGVAmerica staff, our members, industry allies and public officials with the shared goal of transparency for the customer.”
In addition to providing a common-sense unit of sale for fuel retailers and consumers, the DGE standard provides the benchmark for consistency with taxation methods and creates efficiencies associated with accounting and record-keeping requirements. Twenty-eight states currently use the DGE for taxing LNG, and 10 states have enacted legislation or approved regulations recognizing the DGE as a standard for dispensing natural gas.